SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. President Joe Biden made every effort to warmly welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping for their bilateral summit.
The two leaders held their meeting Wednesday at Filoli, a historic mansion and estate about 40 kilometers south of San Francisco. The Biden administration selected this picturesque country estate in Woodside, Calif., as the venue for the talks with Xi, who is in the United States for the first time in about 6½ years.
Filoli was built in 1917 as a private residence for a wealthy businessman who made his fortune running a mine and other operations. Set among rolling hills, the about 2.6-square-kilometer site features flower gardens and is open to the public.
According to sources, the Chinese side demanded that Xi be given superior treatment to other leaders and made this one condition for his visit. The U.S. side apparently selected Filoli, which is some distance from San Francisco, out of consideration for Xi’s security and concerns about anti-China demonstrations.
In addition to their official talks and a lunch meeting, Biden and Xi also chatted while walking together around the estate. Biden apparently made every effort to cultivate a friendly atmosphere at their summit.
According to a senior U.S. government official, Biden asked Xi to pass on birthday wishes to his wife, Peng Liyuan. Peng’s birthday is Nov. 20, the same day as Biden’s.
Hua Chunying, director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Information Department, posted on X that Biden had shown Xi a photo of the Chinese leader taken when he visited San Francisco in 1985. She wrote that Biden asked, “Do you know this young man?” to which Xi responded, “This was 38 years ago.” Hua also posted a photo of both leaders smiling while chatting.